Tea Party Nation conducted the first Tea Party straw poll for the announced candidates and the two unannounced but probable candidates.
The TPN straw poll was a poll of Tea Party activists. While Tea Party activists do not compose the entire spectrum of potential Republican voters, the Tea Party is a major constituency in the Republican Party.
And the winner is….
Congressman Michele Bachmann is the overwhelming favorite of the Tea Party movement. Perhaps it is not a surprise that she won. What maybe much more of a surprise is the margin that she won by.
The final results are:
Michele Bachmann 43%
Rick Perry 15.45%
Sarah Palin 14.72%
Herman Cain 14%
Ron Paul 6%
Mitt Romney 2%
Rick Santorum 2%
Newt Gingrich 1%
Jon Huntsman less than 1%
Tim Pawlenty less than 1%
Gary Johnson less than 0.5%
The results are very interesting. Michele Bachmann has moved out and has established a dominating lead among members of the Tea Party movement. What is surprising is the amount of her lead. Her lead over Sarah Palin was almost three to one. Surprisingly, unannounced Rick Perry came in second place, about three quarters of a point higher than Palin. Palin was third and Herman Cain came in 4th. Ron Paul was well into single digits, which is probably a pretty accurate picture of his real strength.
For the rest of the candidates, the poll states the obvious. They do not have support from the Tea Party.
The more important question is, can a Republican candidate win without Tea Party support? That is unlikely at best. The GOP establishment clearly has its favored candidates, namely Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman. Combined in our poll, they had a total of less than 3.5%.
The poll, which is admittedly an unscientific poll, leads to a couple of conclusions. First, Michele Bachmann is the Tea Party candidate. It is hard to read those numbers any other way. Second, the only semi establishment candidate that the Tea Party will accept, based on these numbers would be Rick Perry. While there is a lot of controversy among Tea Party members as to how conservative Rick Perry really is, he is able to bridge some gaps that Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman will never be able to bridge.
Romney remains in the lead in polls of possible Republican voters. This is important but it is also worth remembering that four years ago, he was polling very well and look where he ended up.
Bachmann’s challenge is going to be to translate her popularity in the Tea Party movement to popularity with establishment Republicans. The Obama media will be going through her life with a fine toothed comb, looking for anything they can get her on, in their desperate efforts to make sure that Obama gets a second term.
The current edition of the Weekly Standard calls Michele Bachmann the “Queen of the Tea Party.”
Based on our poll, it looks like that headline is pretty accurate.
Ron Paul didn't start the Tea Party.
...you were there? Where?
Those who think Ron Paul did this do not understand the movement at all.
Thousands sprang up all over at about the same time - if any one person should have credit for starting the Tea Party it is Obama
You may have held a rally but the Tea Parties started after Glenn Beck started the 9-12 group and from that came the Tea party Express across the country and the first huge rally in DC and from those two came the
all the other branches of Tea Parties. Give credit where it belongs. If no Beck or Express waking the country up there would be no Tea Parties today!!!!!!!!!!!
Judson, you are mistaken, unless you started the Tea Party in 2007. and I WAS there on the banks of the Ohio river with twenty other Ron Paul supporters in the blowing wind and snow in Steubenville, Ohio where we not only threw real tea, but wooden boxes with our gripes written on them... this was a nationwide thing and during that day, we raised 6.3 million dollars for the campaign.... I don't think you, Sarah Palin or even Michelle Bachman- who I like BTW, were there either until 2009 at Tax time....so now, who really started the Tea Party, in September of 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota 16,000 Ron Paul activists kicked off the Campaign for Liberty and it has grown to over 500,000 dues paying members...How many members does Tea Party nation, which, BTW, I am ALSO a member of in addition to being a charter member of the C4L?
Don't get me wrong, we are glad to have you and we also participate in your organization, but isn't the tail wagging the dog here?
Really? This video, uploaded to Youtube Nov 7th, 2007 shows Ron Paul Supporters in colonial garb throwing crates of tea off a ship. If you think that has NOTHING to do with the Tea Party, you may be in a bit of denial.